Russia Plans Tactical Nuclear Weapons Exercise As 'Response' To Western 'Provocative Statements And Threats'

Russia has declared its intention to carry out a military exercise involving tactical nuclear weapons, in what it perceives as a response to escalating threats from Western nations.

What Happened: The Russian defense ministry has ordered the exercise under the directive of President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported on Monday. The exercise, designed to test the combat readiness of non-strategic nuclear forces, will involve missile formations in the Southern Military District and naval forces.

The ministry stated that the exercise is a measure to ensure Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty “in response to provocative statements and threats by certain Western officials against the Russian Federation.” The officials in question were not named, but the ministry has previously taken issue with comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron regarding a potential French intervention in Ukraine.

Accusations have been leveled at the U.S. and its European allies by Russia, claiming they are pushing the world towards a nuclear confrontation by supporting Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of weapons in its fight against Russian forces that invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

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Why It Matters: The decision to conduct this exercise comes at a time of heightened tensions since the start of the war, with Russia issuing repeated warnings about increasing nuclear risks. The U.S. has acknowledged these warnings, yet maintains that it has observed no change in Russia’s nuclear posture. The public linking of such exercises to specific perceived threats is unusual among nuclear powers.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate approved a ban on enriched uranium from Russia, a move expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden. This decision comes amid a resurgence in nuclear power and rising uranium prices, benefiting North American miners.

In April, Russia’s nuclear power corporation, Rosatom, accused the Ukrainian military of attacking the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, a claim denied by Ukraine. The incident did not result in severe damage or abnormal radiation levels.

Recently, a top Ukrainian intelligence official suggested that negotiations with Russia may be necessary to end the war, indicating that both sides are positioning themselves for potential talks.

Read Next: Russian Troops Enter US Military Base In Niger Amid Rising Tensions

Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGeneralEmmanuel Macronnuclear weaponsPooja RajkumariUkraine-Russia WarVladimir Putin
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